MazaJ Festival 2010

Festival Events

Festival Artists

Festival Credits



Main Events


Volatile Frequencies Conference
Thu 18 November from 9.30am at City University London, London


Volatile Frequencies Concert
Thu 18 November from 7.00pm at City University London, London


MazaJ Salon –
Recalibrating the Noise: is there a middle eastern sound art?

Sat 20 November from 5.30pm at Café Oto, London


Evening Concert at Café Oto
Sat 20 November from 8.00pm at Café Oto, London


Evening Concert at Café Oto
Sun 21 November from 7:00pm at Café Oto, London



Booking Information


Volatile Frequencies Conference: Free (Students) or £15 (inc. evening concert)


Volatile Frequencies Concert: £5


2 day MazaJ Festival pass:
£22 adv. only


Saturday MazaJ Salon: £5


Saturday MazaJ Concert:
£10 adv/£12 on the door


Sunday MazaJ Concert:
£10 adv/£12 on the door



Produced by


SAM (Sound and Music)
Zenith Foundation



Curated by


Zenith Foundation



Venue Partners


Cafe Oto
City University



Media Partner


The Wire



Supported by


LCACE (London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange)


Arts Council England



MazaJ Festival

MazaJ Festival | 1st edition

    Recalibrating Middle Eastern sonic cultures

Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 November 2010
MazaJ (meaning mood in Arabic) is a place of free expression, of attunement that presents sonic experimentation from the Middle East and its diaspora.
The first edition of the MazaJ Festival was a celebration of contemporary and experimental Arabic music and Middle Eastern sonic culture, which took place in London. Curated by artist Seth Ayyaz, MazaJ encouraged audiences to look beyond the ‘world music’ label by stripping bare the stereotypes of ‘Arabic’ or ‘Middle Eastern’ music. Forging links between UK and Middle Eastern artists and audiences, the festival took the form of a one-day conference and concert at City University London, a Resonance FM broadcast, and a weekend of talks and performances at Café Oto.
The festival featured work from a selection of contemporary composers, live musicians, leading electronic producers and sound installation artists from the Middle East and its resonant diasporas. These artists are linked by their sonic experimentation within and without a tradition of Middle Eastern musical practice in which improvisation has always played a key role.
The Volatile Frequencies Conference at City University London was intended to provide a critical framework for the weekend and on the Saturday, media partners The Wire also hosted a panel discussion between festival artists and invited speakers to contextualise the artists’ work.
Artists performing at MazaJ included:
Seth Ayyaz (UK), Mazen Kerbaj (Lebanon), Hassan Khan (Egypt), Mutamassik (Egypt / USA), Mahmoud Refat (Egypt), Sharif Sehnaoui (Lebanon), Michael Zerang (USA)
Speakers at the Volatile Frequencies conference included:
Keynotes: John Hutnyk, Thomas Burkhalter, Kay Dickinson

Co-Produced by:
Sound and Music
Zenith Foundation
Supported by:
The Wire
City University
Cafe Oto
Arts Council England
Short overview of the MazaJ Festival:


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